Postnatal depression – symptoms and solutions

Posted on 15 July 2013 by hulda

A pregnant lady dreams of having a happy, healthy baby and becoming a mother who bonds easily with her baby. Despite the anticipated sleep deprivation and meltdowns, she looks forward to profound moments of joy with her baby.

Baby blues

She gives birth, and that fine line between pregnancy and motherhood disappears: she enters a role that changes her forever. With this change, she probably experiences the “baby blues” — a condition that more than half of women experience. She may feel sad, anxious, overwhelmed, find herself crying sometimes, questioning whether she is a good mother, and not be able to sleep or eat well. After a few days or weeks, though, these symptoms typically subside. The mother, albeit tired, feels like the baby blues’ veil has lifted.

Postnatal depression

But, what if that veil does not lift? What if she finds herself feeling depressed for a few weeks or months afterward? About 10-20% of women develop postnatal depression, and although it can show up soon after delivery, it may also appear any time during the first year. And, while postnatal depression is most common in women, men may also develop it but with the help of tca drug test, Healthcare providers can help detect it and can treat depression as soon as possible.

Here are some common symptoms of postnatal depression, but please note: postnatal depression is not one-size-fits-all, and this list is not exhaustive; if you suspect postnatal depression, then please talk to a healthcare professional.

  1. Loss/Increase in appetite 
  2. Insomnia or wanting to sleep all the time
  3. Overwhelming fatigue and irritability
  4. Lack of joy
  5. Feeling guilty or shameful and often alone
  6. Trouble bonding with the baby
  7. Withdrawing from friends/family
  8. Loss of interest in sex
  9. Desire to harm one’s self and/or the baby
  10. Difficult concentrating and memory loss

Parents often wonder what causes postnatal depression in the first place. Even though it can manifest in a parent with no history of depression, the likelihood of developing it increases with a history of personal and/or family depression, depression during pregnancy, having a complicated pregnancy and/or delivery, having little or no support from one’s partner, financial or other stress, and having a sick and/or colicky baby. The fluctuation in hormones after giving birth is also thought to contribute to postnatal depression.

What to do if postnatal depression is suspected

First, know you are not alone, and it is treatable. To be treated, you need to be screened by a professional. Oftentimes, a combination of medication and talk therapy is suggested albeit treatment must be tailored to an individual’s needs.

At Annerley, we know there is a need for women to share their experiences with postnatal depression, and starting in August 2013, we are launching our postnatal depression group. In it, women will explore their emotions in a secure, confidential space with other mothers. There will also be a practical component to this group including tools to promote healing.

While postnatal depression is a condition no mother wishes for herself, help is available, and growth is possible.

allison heilczer

Allison Heiliczer, Annerley psychotherapist, runs the Postnatal Depression Group and offers private consultations to support mothers.

By Allison Heiliczer

Click to learn more about the Annerley Postnatal Depression Group.

 

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